Sunday, January 11, 2004

Readers' views on Pete Rose

The Enquirer published my letter, "A contrite Rose can enter Hall of Fame" (July 21),where I stated that had Pete readily admitted his wrong doing and spent these past decades serving as an example to teach kids that no one is above the rules, he would now be in the Hall of Fame. However, I am sad to say that Pete still does not get it. He is not contrite. He has merely learned that to confess at this time will be more expedient to his cause. I feel that he should stand as an example and never be allowed in the Hall of Fame. We are making history and neither talent nor celebrity should exempt anyone from following the rules and more importantly stepping up to the plate and taking your punishment like a man. A confession of expediency rather than of true contriteness is a greater wrongdoing. Kids learn best by example.

Peggy Campbell, Green Township


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Now he's just trying to hustle us all

For 14 years I've supported Pete Rose's admittance into the Hall of Fame. I believed Pete. Now we know Pete was lying, that he actually did bet on baseball. But that's all I believe. I don't believe he only bet on the Reds to win. And I don't believe he doesn't have a gambling problem.

Charlie Hustle is still trying to hustle us. He's a gambling junkie whose only thought is getting his next fix. Like any other junkie, he'll lie to support his habit. He needs enablers, and for 14 years he's had plenty. But today, he's lost at least one.

Yeah, Pete, you belong in the Hall of Fame, but only after another 14 years have passed. And you don't belong in baseball at all.

Instead of writing a book and doing the CBS interview to come clean, why didn't you just call a press conference immediately after your decision? Why didn't you talk to us, your fans, instead of a ghost writer? Why can't you tell us you've enrolled in a rehab program, or that you've graduated from one?

Now the only thing of which I'm certain is that I can't believe you. So stop jerking me around with your newest money-making scheme.

Ray Voegele, Anderson Township


Giamatti also lied, so reinstate Rose

The fact that Pete Rose lied has nothing to do with if he should be reinstated so as to be eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

Former Commissioner Bart Giamatti lied to Rose and broke the deal he made with him less than 30 minutes after meeting with him; Giamatti stated in a national press conference that he believed Rose bet on baseball.

Paul Daugherty is correct that it is a museum with man-made walls, not heaven with pearly gates.

Reinstate Rose. Knowing the way the Hall of Fame members and the media are, they probably won't vote him into the Hall of Fame until he is dead. That way they feel they get the final say.

Kevin Ragle, Symmes Township


Enough already - let's all move on now

Though I understand the local relevance of the Pete Rose saga, I've grown weary of the wasted energy - social discourse and newspaper ink - consumed in grinding through the story.

In an excerpt from his book Rose writes, "I'm sure that I'm supposed to act all sorry or sad or guilty now that I've accepted that I've done something wrong. But you see I'm just not built that way. So let's leave it like this: I'm sorry it happened; and I'm sorry for all the people, fans, and family that it hurt. Let's move on."

Considering Rose's pathetic lack of contrition, I think we should, as he says, "Leave it like this" - allow him to be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame, as his on-field accomplishments clearly warrant, and disallow him any further participation in the game, as his off-field comportment likewise clearly warrants. And then - please - let's move on.

Dale Hipsley, Wyoming


Groveling needn't be required here

I just don`t understand how sports can treat Pete Rose like they have. Especially when Muhammad Ali, who made his fortune in this country, was allowed to turn his back on this same country and still be a candidate for fighter of the century. I feel that a man such as Rose shouldn't have to grovel for the recognition he so much deserved long ago. Everyone makes mistakes. That's why there are erasers on pencils.

Dick Dillman, Monon, Ind.


Selig asked to make whale of exception

Pete Rose's latest attempt to hustle his way into the Hall of Fame appears to have given Bud Selig the very evidence baseball needed - an admission that he did bet on the game as a manager.

Selig must consider what message he would be sending should he reinstate Rose.

Will players/managers start betting on games knowing all they need to do is claim the "Rose exception to Rule 21" - the one that says betting is OK if you repeatedly deny it for at least 14 years and write a $24.50 book explaining that you never actually bet on your team to lose?

Paul Ashworth, Delhi Township


Bad timing: Baseball doesn't need Rose

Without a doubt Peter Edward Rose had some of the best timing ever at the plate. Unfortunately, he doesn't have that same sense of timing when it comes to admitting his wrongdoing. When his book hit the stands with his admission of betting on baseball, including his own team, it comes at the worst possible time for him; right now baseball doesn't need his story.

The Rose case has been a black stain on baseball for around 15 years, and most everyone knew he did it even though it has taken him this long to admit it.

Pete should have picked a time when baseball needed him more than he needed baseball, because they got what they wanted with his admission and have nothing to gain by letting him back into the game.

Gregory A. Hoodin, Cherry Grove


Anger inappropriate toward fallible man

I can't get over the anger shown toward Pete Rose. This man has never been, nor will he ever be, Mother Teresa. While I would love to see Charlie Hustle back on a big league field, I do believe he has destroyed the trust to be a manager again. Rose should not manage again.

We know Rose has come off as heartless in the past, but Rose is Rose. Yes, he has been a jerk, etc., but enough already. If people are looking for tears, biting on lip, etc., Rose's team needs to hire a politician, and we know how sincere they can be. Will Major League Baseball or Commissioner Bud Selig be the better if they turn down Rose's plea to come back, at least to be voted into the Hall of Fame? Baseball, former players and friends have all asked Rose to "come clean," and it seems that he's trying, tears or not.

Sportswriters and sportscasters are becoming as bad as news commentators. They've gone beyond reporting the news to shaping it to what they want the public to see. They are not the final authority. That rests in the hands of Selig, on this Earth, at least.

Selig and Major League Baseball have profited from even the disgraced Rose. Now let's see how honest they can be. We know how perfect Major League Baseball has always been.

I am a Big Red Machine fan from the '70s, born in Cincinnati and raised in Blanchester, Ohio. I've been a Rose fan since age 7 (I'm now 40), and, yes, I've been very disappointed in Rose. I understand he is human, though, as we all are.

Capt. John C. Carey, Chaplain, 82nd Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army, Bamberg, Germany


This former fan is a defender no more

I grew up in Cincinnati and was a Pete Rose fan. He was a hero to me. When this story broke in 1989 I became a Rose apologist. I could not believe it was true. Over the next 14 years I defended him to anyone who spoke against him. Now the truth is told and Rose did bet on baseball. What is worse is that I believe Rose confessed because he knows time is running out for his induction into the Hall of Fame. I feel betrayed and let down; and I only have myself to blame because I thought with my heart and not my head.

Rose is a microcosm of what is wrong with sports and our society in general. No one wants to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Rose blames baseball for not taking him by the hand and sending him to a fancy rehab for him to go to. What a cop-out. It is easy to put the blame on others instead of on us where it belongs. Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he should never be allowed to be involved in any phase of Major League Baseball again.

He broke the cardinal rule that is in every clubhouse. He knew it was wrong and still did it because he did not think he would get caught. He says he loves the game of baseball. Well, this is a funny way to show your love. It is like cheating on your spouse, all the while saying that you love them and would not do anything to hurt them.

Tim Ward, Valrico, Fla.

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